A few passages from ``The Wind-up Bird Chronicle,'' by Haruki Murakami.
``I don't want to stick my nose in where I'm not wanted, but just let me say this: you really ought to sit down and think hard about what it is that's most important to you.''
I nodded. ``I have been thinking about that,'' I said. ``But things are so complicated and tangled together. I can't seem to separate them out and do one thing at a time. I don't know how to untangle things.''
My uncle smiled. ``You know what I think? I think what you ought to do is start by thinking about the simplest things and go from there. For example, you could stand on a street corner somewhere day after day and look at the people who come by there. You're not in any hurry to decide anything. It may be tough, but sometimes you've got to just stop and take time. You ought to train yourself to look at things with your own eyes until something comes clear. And don't be afraid of putting some time into it. Spending plenty of time on something can be the most sophisticated form of revenge.''
``Revenge?! What do you mean, `revenge'? Revenge against whom?''
``You'll understand soon enough,'' said my uncle, with a smile. ---p. 328, The Wind-up Bird Chronicle
But still--but still---it absolutely does not bother me that I'm now just a part of the work I do. I don't feel the least bit alienated from my life. If anything, I sometimes feel that by concentrating on my work like this, with all the mindless determination of an ant, I'm getting closer to the ``real me.'' I don't know how to put it, but it's kind of like by not thinking about myself I can get closer to the core of my self. ...
I don't quite know how to put this, but lately I've been sort of thinking about the boy who got killed in the motorcycle accident. To tell you the truth, I haven't thought too much about him before. Maybe the shock of the accident twisted my memory or something in a weird way, because all I remembered about him were these weird kind of things, like his smelly armpits or what a totally dumb guy he was or his fingers trying to get into strange places of mine. Every once in a while, though, something not so bad about him comes back to me. Especially when my mind is empty and I'm just planting hairs in a wig base, these things come back to me out of nowhere. Oh, yeah, I'll think, he was like that. I guess time doesn't flow in order, does it---A, B, C, D? It just sort of goes where it feels like going. ---pp. 447,449, The Wind-up Bird Chronicle